Water activity

Picton: Dolphin Watching & Island Wildlife Sanctuary Cruise

4.8 / 5

45 reviews

Activity provider: E-Ko Tours

Picton: Dolphin Watching & Island Wildlife Sanctuary Cruise

Activity provider: E-Ko Tours
Likely to sell out

From US$ 81.85 per person

Likely to sell out

Embark on a fully-guided wildlife and dolphin cruise. Travel from Picton through the Marlborough Sounds on a scenic journey to Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary with an experienced local guide. See lots of wildlife up close with local experts.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 4 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Experience a conservation-focused, wildlife adventure for your soul
  • Enjoy expert commentary and fantastic viewing areas allow you to enjoy playful dolphins
  • Embark on a 1-hour nature lover’s walk around Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary
  • Have an opportunity to see a diverse range of sea-birds, fur seals and other unique fauna
Full description
Embark on a unique, fully-guided wildlife and dolphin cruise through the Marlborough Sounds. Begin your journey in Picton, where you will meet the expert team who will take you on a conservation-focused, wildlife adventure for your soul. On the journey, you will be encountering a huge variety of rare, wonderful and interesting species along the way. Enjoy the engaging commentary and fantastic viewing areas which allow you to enjoy playful Hector’s, Bottlenose, or Dusky Dolphins with a 90 percent encounter rate. You will also have an opportunity to see New Zealand fur seals and numerous seabirds before landing on Motuara Island for a 1-hour nature lover’s walk to remember, great for adults and kids alike. After returning to the boat, sit back and relax with a hot drink and cookies before making our way back to Picton and stopping to check out any extra species you can discover.
  • 3-hour nature cruise on a purpose-built vessel
  • 1-hour guided walk around Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary
  • Expert commentary from your local, experienced guide
  • Complimentary refreshments
  • Safety briefing
  • Lunch
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • Masks are optional for this activity

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain gear

Know before you go

  • Please arrive to check in for your tour at least 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time
  • Weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable, it is recommended that you prepare for all types of weather conditions
  • Please bring water
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.8 /5

based on 45 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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We had an amazing time, saw a seal eating an octopus, two more sunbathing, and 2 dolphin species (hector dolphins and dusk dolphins). The hector dolphins were playfully swimming and jumping around the boat. Absolutely stunning. The hike in Motorua Island was quite nice too, and we saw many kakarikis, the South Island robin, and a kereru in the wild.

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January 23, 2022

We travelled with our two young kids on this cruise. Had an amazing encounter with a large pod of dolphins that surrounded the boat for some time. The island was a surprise..so many different birds and birdsong I had never heard. This was an expensive trip for our family, but the kids will never forget it and it was worthwhile to also experience the outer sounds rather than just Picton. Also lots of other sea birds enroute.

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January 3, 2022

By boat is the best way to experience the beautiful sounds. We had a relaxed trip with great hosts who went out of their way to ensure we saw as much wildlife as we could find. Stopping on the protected wildlife sanctuary islands was a highlight and an opportunity to see native birds up close. Highly recommended!

March 15, 2021

Product ID: 224826